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Your Blood Pressure And Traffic Noise Are Linked

2009-09-10 12:07
Blood pressure and noise

A new study has discovered that people who were exposed to elevated levels of traffic noise may increase blood pressure (hypertension). The researchers, from Lund University in Sweden, think that the noise from traffic increases heart rates, levels of stress hormones and could disturb sleep patterns which brings them to the conclusion that traffic noise may increases blood pressure.

Noise pollution is a common problem that can be intrusive noise that disrupts, distracts, or detracts from regular functioning. “Road traffic is the most important source of community noise,” said the lead author of the study, Theo Bodin, from Lund University Hospital, Sweden, in a news release. “We found that exposure above 60 decibels was associated with high blood pressure among the relatively young and middle-aged, an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.”

Researchers completed a study demonstrating that when people were exposed to more than 60 decibels of traffic noise a day, their blood pressure started to rise. The researchers formed this conclusion based upon examining over 28000 questionnaires submitted by people dealing with traffic noise and associated stress. Final results suggest that traffic noise may increases blood pressure.

The American Heart Association estimates that more than 62 million Americans over the age of six suffer from high blood pressure, which is a measure of how hard the blood pushes against the walls of your arteries as it moves through your body. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems.

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Professor Alan Maryon-Davis, president of the UK's Faculty of Public Health, said: "It seems to me that they have found an association rather than a cause. Other factors, such as smoking, diet and deprivation, are likely to be playing more of a role; however, it is an area of research which merits further work."

What this study has demonstrated is that loud traffic noise isn't just annoying; traffic noise may increases blood pressure which in turn can have a profound impact on our health.

References
BBC News
Los Angeles Times

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